Poll: Half of registered Pa. Republicans say they approve of Jan. 6 votes against Electoral College

By: - March 11, 2021 7:04 am

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Corporations that donate to political campaigns have taken a hard stance against the 146 members of Congress who tried to block certification of the electoral college earlier this year, saying they’d withhold cash from those politicians – including eight from Pennsylvania – the next time they hit the campaign trail.

But two months after that vote was delayed by a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, Pennsylvania voters were split on partisan lines when they were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the eight members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation who objected to the electoral college vote.

Half of registered Republicans who responded to a recent poll from Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research said they approved of the action that eight Republican members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation took that day, when they voted to reject the electoral college slate  certifying President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 race. 

Just 8 percent of registered Democrats and 36 percent of unaffiliated voters shared their approval.  

Forty-two percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats, meanwhile, said they disapproved of the opposition vote, which fell short of the majority it needed to block Biden’s victory. 

In the aftermath of last November’s 2020 presidential election, Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania helped amplify then-President Donald J. Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” election. 

More than 70 state lawmakers, all Republicans, signed letters urging Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to reject certification, saying they needed more time to investigate irregularities in how counties ran the election. 

A small number of lawmakers vocally embraced Trump’s lies that widespread voter fraud cost him a victory over Biden. Some of those lawmakers also spread disinformation that members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, cited to justify their “no” votes on Jan. 6.

Polling data show that Pennsylvania voters who approved of Perry’s vote skewed middle-aged. Forty percent of respondents who approved of the rejection told pollsters they were between the ages of 35 and 54, while 29 percent were 55 or older. 

The approving voters were also more likely to be white. White voters were split 33-60 percent in their approval or disapproval of the dissenting congressmen, with the remainder telling pollsters they didn’t have an opinion. That’s compared to 22 percent of non-white voters who approved of votes against the electoral college, 61 percent who approved and 17 percent who said they had no opinion. 

The poll was conducted from March 1 to March 7 among a sample of 588 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 269 Democrats, 236 Republicans, and 83 independents. It had a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. 

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Elizabeth Hardison
Elizabeth Hardison

Elizabeth Hardison covered education policy, election administration, criminal justice and legislative news for the Capital-Star from Jan. 2019-April 2021. You can find her on Twitter @ElizHardison.